UN Leak: Climate Science in Disarray on Human Emissions Impact

A group of authors for the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admit the sun plays a far greater role in climate than previously thought. An embarrassing new leak from the prominent organization points to a schism in the ranks with many UN  researchers now on record stating that changes in the sun, rather than human carbon dioxide emissions have altered Earth’s temperatures.

Alec Rawls

Up till now the role of the sun, referred to as enhanced solar forcing, received only scant mention in prior IPCC reports (AR3 and AR4) being glibly dismissed. But this is the first time IPCC authors have acknowledged the evidence that a solar mechanism seems to be at work. The source of the leak, Alec Rawls, said, “I participated in “expert review” of the Second Order Draft of AR5 (the next IPCC report), Working Group 1 (“The Scientific Basis”), and am now making the full draft available to the public.”

Rawls, who also serves on the Stanford Review’s board of directors, said it was important for this document to be immediately released because of the “public’s right to know.” Rawls declared he felt compelled to break his confidentiality agreement as an IPCC reviewer because of the “systematic dishonesty of the report” which, he says, has been corrupted by “bad faith” and “fraud.” Rawls insists “Once the evidence for enhanced solar forcing is taken into account we can have no confidence that natural forcing is small compared to anthropogenic [human] forcing.”

But, as expected, alarmist blog, ‘Skeptical [sic]Science’ has been quick to try to limit the damage. As per usual defenders of the IPCC “consensus” position are sticking to their forlorn claim that humans emissions of carbon dioxide rather than the sun drives our climate. But Rawls is adamant. Cited on popular skeptic blog WUWT he concluded,

”The [IPCC] admission of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcing changes everything. The climate alarmists can’t continue to claim that warming was almost entirely due to human activity over a period when solar warming effects, now acknowledged to be important, were at a maximum. The final draft of AR5 WG1 is not scheduled to be released for another year but the public needs to know now how the main premises and conclusions of the IPCC story line have been undercut by the IPCC itself.”

Consensus” Science Illusion Busted

But most uncomfortable for the “consensus” of IPCC politicized climatology is the stark contrast in claims by IPCC authors between chapters 7 and 8 of the leaked AR5 draft. Pointedly, Chapter 7 authors admit strong evidence (“many empirical relationships”) for enhanced solar forcing. But authors in Chapter 8 (page 8-4, lines 54-57) contradict their colleagues by persisting in debunked claims that natural forcing is relatively small and unchanging. The now busted “consensus” exposes the long-assumed and bizarre IPCC position that solar effects were constant and thus could be discounted. But such an unscientific assumption is well characterized by Rawl who laments, “In effect they are claiming that you can’t heat a pot of water by turning the burner to maximum and leaving it there, that you have to keep turning the flame up to get continued warming, an un-scientific absurdity that I have been writing about for several years.”

But it gets worse, in chapter 10 (Figure 10.5) alarmist IPCC  authors are shown to have been using regression analysis technique in what appears to be a cynical statistical trick to remove the impacts of ocean current systems such as El Niño and La Niña and volcanic aerosols from the instrument temperature record. Critics say this ruse is just another way that junk scientists can make it appear that human emissions are the more dominant climate driver.

Nonetheless, the leaked documents prove that a substantial number of IPCC scientists now recognize that there is an underlying long term solar trend which recent scientific studies show was most evident in the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.  [1.2] Principia Scientific International (PSI) a research group that always asserted solar impacts were ill-considered and made human impacts trivial expressed delight at these latest revelations that will likely signal the demise of official UN claims that humans are dangerously impacting Earth’s climate.

The news comes as a timely boost for those climate researchers who have recently published papers pointing to solar, not human, impacts on climate. Among them are PSI experts Canadian astrophysicist, Joseph E. Postma and Australian Douglas Cotton. [3,4]
With such stark contradictions in interpretation of the raw evidence woven into IPCC “science” we should remind ourselves that the mainstream media has consistently misrepresented the IPCC as “the world’s top scientists.” As we have seen with the likes of Lisa Alexander who didn’t even earn her PhD until 2009 yet authored the 2001 and the 2007 IPCC reports, any claims about IPCC authors as being “expert” must be treated with great caution. Certainly, critics will no doubt point to the obvious contradictions evidenced by the conflicting statements of authors in chapters 7 and 8 as proof that one of the most important qualification to be an IPCC author is a commitment to green activism.

A full download of the leaked AR5 Report can be accessed here.


[1] Roman Warm Period (Europe — Mediterranean) – Summary, co2science.org (accessed online: December 14, 2012)

[2] Hoffman, D.L., ‘Medieval Warm Period Rediscovered,’ theresilientearth.com (accessed online: December 14, 2012)

[3] Postma, J.E.,’ A Discussion on the Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect,’ (October, 2012), principia-scientific.org (accessed online: December 14, 2012)

[4] Cotton, D.J., ‘Planetary Surface Temperatures A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms, (November, 2012), principia-scientific.org (accessed online: December 14, 2012)


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4 responses to “UN Leak: Climate Science in Disarray on Human Emissions Impact

    Another excellent article, John! There is indeed some irony in the fact that we cite posts on WUWT, yet Anthony would no more cite PSI papers than fly. What he fails to realise, of course, is that PSI has come a long way in the last year or so, and membership has soared.

    We read in the right margin of the Home page of WUWT …

    Unreliable Skeptical Science – John Cook
    Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.

    “Deletion of user comments” – Mmmmm.

    WUWT is not the only climate site which has deleted my comments and now bans me altogether, however, others being Science of Doom, The Air Vent, Skeptical Science, The Conversation and Tallbloke’s Talkshop, even though Roger published my first paper which drew many hundreds of comments. In addition, most pro-AGW sites do not pass my comments through moderation, even short comments with links to articles like this of John’s.

    Maybe someone reading this who is able to post comments on these sites might throw down the gauntlet to some of them to attempt rebuttal of these recent papers, and allow us right of reply. That surely would be in the spirit of true science – and might even increase their “ratings” somewhat with a debate that should be of interest to many readers who are genuinely seeking the truth.

  2. johnosullivan

    Yes, I agree about WUWT, From that evidence alone it is clear Lord Watts is of the view censorship is only bad when it is being done by others. Such is the hypocrisy we face. As for our science, I don’t think these so-called skeptics are skeptics at all when they endlessly refuse to address our work or stoop to name calling. To my mind those antics show they are no better than the politicized alarmists.

  3. Mervyn

    In relation to climate change, so much for the warmists’ mantra ‘the science is settled … it’s time for action’!

    It really looks like a time is fast approaching when the work of Henrik Svensmark and the work of Jasper Kirkby (CLOUD experiment) will be recognised as providing some of the fundamental principles underpinning climate change. Their work is backed up by both real world data and by experiment.

    Yet the IPCC has preferred to ignore it altogether.

    Regarding ‘Chapter 7: Clouds and Aerosols’ in the IR5 report, it would be interesting to get some feedback from Svensmark and from Kirkby. Can you arrange this?

  4. Mervyn,
    I agree with you. From my contacts I understand Svensmark, Kirkby and others are onto this.

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